All Israel Shall Be Saved - Part VIII

September 2018

The acronym TULIP is often used to summarize Calvinism. Although not all Calvinists believe in all five points, all five points of Calvinism are biblically erroneous as believed by Calvinists.

‘T’ Is For Total Depravity
Calvinism teaches that human beings are all born so corrupted and depraved by original sin that mankind is incapable of exercising any good will toward God.

The Bible teaches total depravity. That simply means there is nothing good in man to earn or deserve salvation. While the Bible teaches the depravity of the human race, it nowhere teaches total inability. The language of Jesus was, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (Jn. 5:40). It is not a matter of whether or not you can come to Christ; it is a matter of whether or not you will come to Christ. Jesus looked over Jerusalem and wept and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not” (Matt. 23:37).

Some Calvinists use John 6:44 in an effort to prove total inability. “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” The Bible makes it clear in John 12:32 that Christ will draw all men unto Himself: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” All men are drawn to Christ, but not all men will trust Christ as Saviour. Every man will make his own decision to trust Christ or to reject Him.

‘U’ Is For Unconditional Election
By unconditional election, Calvin meant that God has already decided who will be saved and who will be lost, and the individual has absolutely nothing to do with it. He can only hope that God has elected him for heaven and not for hell. This concept is also known as supralapsarianism. In his book, Institutes, Book III, John Calvin writes, “Not all men are created with similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestined either to life or to death.”

Calvinism teaches that it is God’s own choice that some people are to be damned forever. He never intended to save them. God foreordained them to go to hell. And when He offers salvation in the Bible, He does not offer it to those who were foreordained to be damned. It is offered only to those who were foreordained to be saved. Nowhere does the Bible teach that God wills for some to go to heaven and wills others to go to hell. The Bible teaches that God would have all men to be saved:

  • “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9).
  • “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4).
  • “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (most Calvinists stop in the middle of this verse, but the remainder reads: “and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (Jn. 15:16).
John 15:16 says nothing about being chosen for heaven or hell. It says we are chosen to go and bring forth fruit, which simply means that every Christian is chosen to be a soul winner.

‘L’ Is For Limited Atonement

Limited atonement says that Christ did not die for all men but only those on His “saved list.” In I John 2:2, the Bible says, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The teaching of Calvinism on limited atonement contradicts the express statement of Scripture.

In I Timothy 2:6 we read, “Who gave himself a ransom for all....”

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Saviour of the world: “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (Jn. 4:42).

I John 4:14 says, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

The Scriptures make it plain that Jesus came to save the world:
  • “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (Jn. 3:17).
  • “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (I Tim. 4:10). The Bible teaches that Christ bore the sins of all people.
  • “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Not only did He bear the sins of us all, but the Bible plainly teaches that He died for the sin of the whole world.
  • “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world” (I Jn. 2:2).
If that isn’t plain enough, the Bible says His death was for every man: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).

‘I’ Is For Irresistible Grace
Irresistible grace refers to God sending the Holy Spirit only to those on the saved list which removes their sinful nature inherited from Adam and creates within them a saving faith in Christ. They are first regenerated and then they can believe.

Does the Bible say anything about irresistible grace? Certainly not! The Scriptures show that men do resist and reject God:

  • “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1).
  • “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” (Prov. 1:24-26).
In Proverbs 1, where the Bible plainly says, “I have called, and ye have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof”—that doesn’t sound like irresistible grace. God calls, and men refuse. Is that irresistible? God stretches out his hand and no man regards it? Is that irresistible grace? The Bible makes it plain that some men do reject Christ, that they refuse His call.

In Acts 7:51, Stephen said, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Notice that Stephen said, “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.” Here were people, some of whom had seen Jesus and heard Him preach; others had heard Peter at Pentecost, and still others had heard Stephen and other Spirit-filled men preaching with great power. And what had they done? They were stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears—they were stubborn and rebellious against God.

The Bible plainly says, “They resisted the Holy Ghost.” Notice again the words of Stephen in Acts 7:51: “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”

Next month, we will pick up with point five and a few other erroneous issues about Calvinism.

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